V IE WPOIN TS
There are plenty of reasons to love being a leader. Here are 10 of them.
BY NEAL WHITTEN, PMP, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Mcareers to secure leadership positions. They are
well aware of the benefits to their career, status
and income—to name a few. Yet the rewards are
ost people work diligently throughout their
often overlooked or questioned because of the constant preoccupation with day-to-day challenges.
But leadership can be a highly liberating and exhilarating
state. Here are 10 things that being a leader lets you do:
1. Define your destiny. I believe that things happen for a
reason. You allow things to happen or you make things happen. No one has full control over their destiny, but you have
far more control than most people choose to believe. As a
leader, you sit in the driver’s seat and have a unique vantage
point from which to create your future.
2. Accelerate learning and growing. The more you do and
the more responsibilities you take on, the greater your
opportunities to learn. Learning is key to opening doors and
creating opportunities. Moreover, learning can add a special
gusto to life that drives your desire to learn even more.
3. Help others to reach their potential. A team’s achievements are not so much a factor of the knowledge and
experience of its leader, but more so the tapping into the
inherent potential that lies within each member of the
team. Helping others to stretch and discover their potential can be not only highly gratifying and rewarding, it
also encourages loyalty, dedication and discipline.
4. Make an impact on a larger scale. We all want to contribute more, have a positive impact and make a difference.
Although leading a team of one can yield noteworthy
results, leading a team of many can have a multiplying
effect on the scope and impact of the accomplishment.
Lofty goals that might otherwise be impossible are now
5. Fine-tune skills that last a lifetime. Being a leader is a
great way to build your résumé. Leadership skills are always
in demand. And the more you lead, the more opportunity
you have to hone your craft. You’ll make mistakes along the
way, but working at improving your skills will continue to
enhance your effectiveness, contributions and reputation.
6. Increase your financial well-being. Although perhaps
not the most important reason to love being a leader, it’s
always nice to have a bit more pocket change. The more
successful you are as a leader, the more in demand you are,
which, in turn, raises your stock price. There is a direct
relationship between your leadership effectiveness and
7. Create a highly effective team. Almost anything is
possible to achieve when you are leading a great team. And
it’s gratifying to play a pivotal part in inspiring a team to
achieve its objectives.
8. Walk the talk. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and whine.
But the most effective leaders don’t point fingers or snipe at
others. True leaders are too busy solving problems. As a leader,
you’re in the middle of the game. You get to practice what you
preach. You don’t just talk about it. You get to do it.
9. Turn a vision into reality. Everything begins with a
thought and a vision. You feel the best when you are part of
that vision becoming a reality—however simple or lofty it may
be. It’s a great feeling to turn your dreams into reality no matter who the client or benefactor might be. As a leader, you have
the position and opportunity to do so.
10. Partake in the adventure of life. This is your life. Savor
and enjoy. Have some fun with it. Living your dream is a
whole lot more exciting than just dreaming your life. A
leader has a front-row seat in pursuing the adventure of life.
That’s only a starter list, of course. Consider beginning
each day thinking about the reasons to be grateful for your
position and the great impact that you can have within your
chosen domain of responsibility. Those positive thoughts
may help your day become the success you desire. Now, go
make a bigger difference—and enjoy your journey! PM
Neal Whitten, PMP, president of The Neal
Whitten Group, is a speaker, trainer, consult-
ant, mentor and author. His latest book is
Neal Whitten’s Let’s Talk! More No-
Nonsense Advice for Project Success—
Over 700 Q&As.